German elections .. Socialists lead by a slight margin

In the German legislative elections on Sunday evening, the Social Democrats defeated the Conservatives, led by Angela Merkel which have fallen to a historically low level.

Social Democrats led by Olaf Schultz lead by a slight margin with 25.7-26% of the vote, over conservative Christian Democrats led by Armin Laschet, second with 24.5% of the vote, according to the exit polls, while the ABC channel predicted . RD “received an equal share of votes between the two parties, equal to 25%.

“A long election night”

For his part, the Social Democrat candidate said: “It will be a long election night”, adding: “But what is certain is that many citizens voted for the Social Democrats because they want to change the government and also because they want Olaf Schulz to be next. Chancellor “, according to AFP.

The problem, however, is that, despite their “disappointing” result, the Conservatives intend to appoint the next chancellor as well, said Armin Laschet, who spoke to Merkel.

German elections .. Socialists lead by a slight margin

Armin Laschet (AFP)

“We will do whatever it is in our power to build a conservative-led government, said the Christian Democrat candidate.

Interestingly, the percentage of votes in favor of the Conservative party never dropped below the 30% threshold. In 2017, it received 32.8 percent of the vote.

“Before Christmas”

Whatever happens, the results are looming in Germany indicate an unexpected rebirth for the Social Democratic Party which was dying a few months ago. The results were welcomed with joy at the party headquarters in Berlin.

Both the Social Democrats and the Conservatives hoped to form a coalition government “before Christmas”.

A large proportion of the voters voted by mail, however, the results may change after the first count of the votes.

“Disaster”

Christian Democracy will surely suffer an unprecedented setback that will lead to internal unrest and promise a complex succession For Angela Merkel. A result of less than 30% would be a “disaster”, according to the Bild newspaper.

This setback also casts a shadow over the end of the Merkel era, whose popularity remained at its peak after four terms, but proved unable to prepare for her succession.

Angela Merkel (AFP)

Angela Merkel (AFP)

Furthermore, the Green Party and its candidate, Annalina Berbuk, are absent from the scene, having obtained, according to the polls, between 14 and 15 percent of the votes. But there is reason to be satisfied, as it beat the record established in 2009 when it received 10.7 percent of the vote.

It appears that the Liberals of the Liberal Democratic Party, who came fourth with about 12% of the vote, are the main “king-maker” to build a future alliance, according to AFP.

extreme right

For its part, the far right of Alternative for Germany, whose entry into the Bundestag was the most important event in the previous 2017 elections, confirms its roots in the German political scene. But with between 10 and 11 percent of the vote, the party that was undermined by the internal conflict has dropped slightly from four years ago (12.6 percent).

If the trend is confirmed, Olaf Schulz, outgoing vice-chancellor and finance minister, has the opportunity to succeed Angela Merkel, the 16-year-old chancellor, and to initiate the “change” promised at the end of the election campaign.

A precedent in German history

However, this centrist Social Democrat should form a tripartite coalition, a precedent in contemporary German history.

So the negotiations are likely to last months, much to the chagrin of partners in Europe’s largest economy, who fear the EU will be paralyzed until early 2022.

The Green Party, which did not hide in election campaign his willingness to enter in a social democratic government could be part of the negotiations.

The other potential partner?

The other possible partner is the “Left” party (Die Linke), which according to these polls has obtained about 5% of the votes, but there is no guarantee that it will exceed this threshold and thus save its group in the Bundestag.

Olaf Schultz was open to discussions with these two parties on almost any topic.

Olaf Schultz (AFP)

Olaf Schultz (AFP)

Interestingly, the negotiations could last several months, and thus delay the actual departure of Merkel, who is 67, of which she has spent more than 30 in the political arena.

But the conservatives themselves haven’t said their last word. Their leader, Armin Laschet, warned during the election campaign that he could try, even if he were in second place, to build a coalition that would push him to the chancellor.

Errors and omissions

After a campaign marked by errors and omissions, Laschet, the biggest loser at this point, will have to be very convincing.

The vote was punctuated by a fatal mistake by the center-right leader who forgot to hide his voting card from the cameras as required by the electoral law. Thus, his vote could be invalidated.

A new war between leaders

Merkel in the end may have risked causing a new war between the leaders of the German right when the question of Laschet’s future at the helm of the CDU was raised, eight months after his election.

And if we know that the head of the Christian Democratic Union and the head of the government of North Rhine-Westphalia, the largest German state by population, has always managed to turn things in his favor and get rid of his most bitter enemies, this time seems difficult for Laschet, who imposed his candidacy at the end of a fierce conflict with his ally leader of the CSU Marcus Söder, the most popular of him.

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